The world’s most famous listener may be willing to lend medtech an ear when it comes to the medical device tax and other issues facing the industry.
Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic front-runner for the 2016 presidential nomination, told delegates at AdvaMed 2014 in Chicago today that she’s willing to listen and make changes to Obamacare.
Clinton did not say in which capacity she would be willing to listen to those concerns, as she has yet to officially announce her run for the White House. But the former senator and White House cabinet member is once again on the proverbial pitch, making appearances across the country in a similar fashion to her famous "listening tour" of 2007.
The stop at the AdvaMed conference was one of several events Clinton attended in the Chicago area.
In a question-and-answer session, Clinton said she’s aware of the concerns of the device industry when it comes to the medical device tax. That’s a 2.3% levy enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, applied to all U.S. sales of prescribed medical devices.
"I think you have an argument to make. I think it has to be made in the context of the larger set of issues raised by the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and I would hope for the kind of process that is aimed at problem-solving and elicits people of good faith to come to the table and work through to the best outcomes," Clinton said. "We have to look to see what are the pluses and minuses that are embodied in the decision to remove or alter or continue this particular piece of the ACA. I’ve looked at the argument on both sides. I think we’ll gather more information that will give us a better path forward."
Clinton added that any middle ground on altering the device tax would have to come from a softening of the gridlock in Washington.
"We have to be smart and pragmatic problem-solvers again," she said. "I don’t know what the right answer about the tax is, but I think we could take a look at everything and not just stand there with our arms folded staring at each other from across the aisle, and begin to sort it out."